Exception Reporting Ensures That Your Drivers Are Adhering to Internal Policies and Procedures
What is an Exception Report
An exception report is an internal document that points out instances and circumstances where performance deviated from previously defined parameters or expectations. Exception reports aggregate unusual conditions and alert management of activity and behavior that may be problematic, allowing for immediate action to remedy the situation. Possible examples of exception reporting pertaining to a fleet might look like:
- Drivers purchasing products outside of operating hours
- Pumping a higher volume than was authorized
- Purchasing unauthorized products such as 91 octane or Clear Diesel when only 87 octane was approved
Setting “Normal” Parameters
When creating an exception report for fuel, managers can identify and define a set of “normal” or “optimal” parameters that the system then runs against incoming daily, weekly or monthly data to highlight discrepancies. Any instances that fall outside of the set of “normal” parameters are noticed as suspicious. Observing instances that fall outside of the range of normal can be helpful for preventing the costly application of the wrong fuel, warding off internal theft, noticing incidents of external theft and monitoring fuel purchasing trends and patterns over time.
3 Reasons Why You Should Use Exception Reporting
When you put specific fuel purchasing and usage parameters in place, an exception report will alert you when activity falls outside the realm of “normal.” Exception reports are great for monitoring what is streamlined and working, but they are especially useful for determining what is not working, what is out of compliance and what is problematic. You can’t fix a problem if you don’t know about it, so exception reports are helpful tools for fuel managers in the following ways:
- Maintain Accountability – Exception reports itemize and document a wide spectrum of activity such as mistakes, overages, missing inventory, etc. After being alerted by the exception report that something is wrong, you can reverse engineer a solution by reviewing all available information to give you the full picture of the situation.
- Ensure Transparency – When drivers and managers are on the same page and all parties are aware of the security parameters in place (exception reporting, driver fuel policy, etc), you are less likely to experience internal theft and employee negligence. When there is a robust trail linking all actions, determining the responsible party when dealing with a mistake is made that much easier. Exception reporting encourages your team to be more conscious of crossing their T’s and dotting their I’s, creating full transparency and encouraging greater accountability and efficiency.
- Prevent Intentional or Unintentional Misuse – Mistakes happen, and exception reports can highlight trends and patterns over time associated with an individual driver. This allows you to coach to their specific issues, and if you have a rogue employee who does what they want, regularly operating outside of set parameters, exception reporting will give you evidence to prove they are out of compliance. Although not an immediate alert, which is distinct from a fraud report, exception reports let you know when there has been misuse or abuse on a fuel or CFN card. It can act as a 2nd tier security measure to indicate a stolen, skimmed or copied card.
The Risk of Multi-Use Dispensers
At some service stations where there are multi-use dispensers offering a spectrum of fuel options, managers may run into trouble when drivers have free access to a wide spectrum of fuel grades. Multi-use dispensers are similar to a soda machine in that when you pay for a soda you have access to Sprite, Coke, Dr. Pepper, etc. At a multi-use fuel terminal, with one fuel card drivers have access to 87, 89, 93 octane, etc. An exception report will tell you when a driver fills up on 89 octane when their driver fuel policy states 87 octane only.
The Bottom Line
Exception reporting is a helpful tool when it comes to preventing and troubleshooting problems and mistakes. When a discrepancy pops up in an exception report, had you not received the notification, you never would have known about the problem. The alert that gets triggered gives you an opportunity to go back, cross reference and remedy the situation. The data mined from exception reports can be instrumental not only in repairing costly mistakes, but it can be an effective tool for teaching your team about avoiding them in the future. Reports can be run at whatever frequency works best for your business, with daily reporting being less realistic given the huge volume of emails most businesses receive. Reporting once a week allows you to recognize patterns over time to ward off problems and find viable solutions when mistakes happen.
Contact an SCL Consultant Today
In a wide range of industrial sectors, SCL is committed to being the number one logistics and solutions provider for the products that protect and optimize the machines that keep our country moving. We pride ourselves on remaining at the forefront of industry trends and technological innovations, and as the market continues to evolve, we are committed to providing extensive product and industry knowledge and total performance satisfaction for our customers. For information on how we can assist your fleet in choosing the optimal products at a competitive price, contact an SCL consultant today.